Paul Gibbons

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Paul Gibbons has a global reputation as a futurist and scholar on the human side of technology – leadership, culture, and talent. He has been called a 21st-century Peter Drucker and is ranked alongside Adam Grant and Amy Edmonson as one of today’s leading thinkers.


He is the author of five books: The most recent, The Future of Change Management, is #1 in organizational change on Amazon, Paul’s Spirituality of Work and Leadership shows how leaders can lead with the deepest human values to create workplaces with meaning and purpose at their heart; his bestseller, The Science of Organizational Change, is ranked top five on leading change. His most sought-after speaking topics include Generative AI, Remote Working, Innovation, Mental Health, and Behavioral Science.


Paul recently left IBM, where he worked on the human capital challenges of exponential technologies: AI, blockchain, cloud computing, and digital transformation. At PwC, he was a thought leader in innovation, culture change, and corporate transformation.


He has been an adjunct professor of leadership at major business schools and has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Human Capital Magazine. In 2015, he appeared in Microsoft’s Distinguished Author Program and Talks at Google. CEO magazine recognized Paul as one of two CEO "super-coaches" and his coaching firm as the best of the leadership consulting boutiques.


He lives in Colorado with his two boys and plays competitive chess, bridge, and poker, competing in the World Series of Poker every summer.


Speaking Topics:


The Ethics of AI: What Citizens and Business Leaders Need to Know

AI will touch every corner of our lives as citizens, consumers, and business people.  In this 60- to 90-minute keynote, Paul covers Artificial General Intelligence - and whether that creates an existential risk. Then closer to today, he covers the effect on jobs, on biases and fairness, on privacy and property rights, on accountability and malfeasance, and on human development. (See the "teaser" video below.)


Leadership of AI: Driving Growth while Managing Risks

Some CEOs call our moment the opportunity of a lifetime, but deciding which AI strategies to pursue is fraught with risk.  This 60- to 90- minute keynote covers a) why technology deployments often fail, b) the AI maturity model, c) how to create a vision, d) how to create an AI centered people strategy, e) what an AI deployment and governance team should look like, f) the ethics of AI, and g) getting an AI culture to work.  Paul has 35 years helping businesses deploy technology, at PwC and at IBM and is the author of six book on change leadership. (See the "teaser video below.)


Getting Past the BS and Myths of Change Management
Change management is essential, but big-name firms offer methods from the 1990s, and specialists often peddle New Age and pop psychology. We can’t use 1990s methods because the business world (duh) has changed; we can’t use pseudoscience and pop psychology (such as “left-brain/ right-brain”) because they don’t work. What does work? While there are no change silver bullets, behavioral science (including ideas such as nudging) offers a way of changing behavior sometimes ten times as effective as traditional change. Paul helped design PwC’s change methodology and has advised both Deloitte and IBM on how to upgrade their methods. His four books on change are best-sellers. 


The Human Side of GenAI and the Future of Work
McKinsey says that 85 million jobs may be displaced by 2025 by AI. By 2032, the market for AI is predicted to reach two trillion dollars. Business leaders face two related challenges – how do I take advantage of this new technology to create business value? And, more viscerally, how do I future-proof my career, and perhaps even gain a career advantage in this new world?


New Frontiers in Leading Change: Mental Health and Resilience
Old models of change management and leadership, even those from big-name firms, offer nothing by way of insights and tools to help understand the effect of mental health on change and how to build personal and organizational resilience. Yet look around your next meeting. One in five of us suffer at any given moment. Half of us will experience a mental health episode in our lifetime. (And of those, only half get treatment!) We know that change can affect mental health, but mental health also affects a leader’s ability to effect change. What can and should we do?


Why Culture Change Fails, (and What Leaders Can Do to Make It Happen)
Did you know that research suggests that culture change fails 81 percent of the time? Yet, IBM’s CEO once said, “Culture change isn’t part of the game, it is the whole game.” And which of us hasn’t seen glossy values posters that get eye-rolls from staff? Why is that? Why is something so critically important impossible to shift? And how, when culture change succeeds, does it happen? Paul was ranked #5 in the world on culture change by Global Gurus. He has advised 3 of the “big-4” consulting firms on culture change and has advised Microsoft and Comcast on culture.


Leading from Values and Purpose in the Future of Work
Today’s workers want a purpose, and not just a paycheck. They want meaningful and mindful work and not mindless work. Leading businesses know this – that people respond to purpose and to work for one greater than themselves. These conversations touch on business spirituality, but leaders aren’t spiritual gurus, and workplaces aren’t temples. Paul’s Spirituality of Work and Leadership: Finding Meaning, Joy, and Purpose in What You Do, is a guide for people and leaders to finding deeper purpose within themselves, and bringing their deepest values to work.


Substance abuse, recovery, and success at work

At 20, Paul had two degrees and spoke five languages; 10 years later, he was homeless. Earning a million dollars a year on Wall Street at age 25 was “putting out the fire with gasoline” – it didn’t cure the “hole in the soul,” it made it worse. His journey through alcohol addiction, substance abuse disorder, ADD, and depression is one that sometimes takes the lives of admirable people, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, and Kurt Cobain. Resilience helps leaders and their teams thrive in difficult times - much as lifting weights, which first injures muscles, then makes them stronger. Contrary to popular myth, resilience isn't at all about being tough, or toughing it out. During this 90-minute to 1/2-day session, learn the skills that make leaders and their teams more resilient in the face of stressors and difficulties.

Paul Gibbons's Experiences

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“Paul Gibbons applies science and practical wisdom to organizational culture – a charlatan-filled domain.”

Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Business School

“We didn’t hear what we wanted to hear, we heard what we needed to hear.”

Simon Collins, Chairman, KPMG

“A Peter Drucker for the 21st-century — perhaps even more profound.”

Robert Entenmann, SVP, ABN-Amro

Paul did great. He was engaging, well-prepared, and well-spoken, and he was enjoyable the entire time. He even stayed afterward for a discussion about AI. I am glad we were able to make it work- we are so grateful for Paul's time and expertise!

Anonymous Engage Client
  • What is your favorite quote? Change is inevitable; whether it represents progress is up to us.
  • Outside of your profession do you have any hobbies/interests? A semi-professional mindsports player - first backgammon, then bridge, today poker - where I compete annually in the World Series of Poker for a world championship. Music nut, everything from
  • Who do you look up to as a mentor and why? Michael Lewis was an inspiration to me - we worked together in the 1980s. He pursued his dream career as an author and has more than 10 books and many movies (Moneyball) to his credit. And m